tv Public Affairs CSPAN January 31, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
power of the president, as set forth in article 2, section 2, clause 2 of the united states constitution. it is the sense of our congress said any significant alteration of those deeply important the two most powerful nuclear nations in the world would be done by treaty. would you support that concept? and before making significant changes prebt those changes to the congress as a treaty and not as a secret or open bilateral agreement. >> so your question is will i commit to a briefing on all of this? >> no. any significant changes that would occur in our relationship on those issues -- any
militarily significant manner may be made only to the pursue yants -- pursuit event making power. we have treaties already impacted so so much of that. congress believes that any changes should also be made by treaty. >> well, without getting into specifics of it but obviously, consultation with the congress is the obvious committee. yes. >> it seems like we've not been consulted on the biden trip. we expect that to be done. what's been going on is disturbing to us. the president said, you know, we'll have more flexibility after the election.
he was clearly responding to these issues, missile defense, i think particularly and maybe nuclear issue also. he was not consulting with the american people, he did not tell congress what he wanted to do but he was willing to discuss it with the russian leaders. i'm asking you, will you comply with the treaty-making matters? if these agreements are significant military liquor i believe they should be -- militarily believe they should be done by treaty and not by two leaders. >> i would commit to fulfilling any treaty obligations and commitments to congress and any conversations that congress has to be a part of, absolutely. >> i'm not sure that answers the question.
congress is concerned about these negotiations going on. we don't have the -- the president made it clear that he believes in zero nuclear weapons. that is his policy for america. i think it is utterly unrealistic and that is amazing to me. that could lead us to unwise decision making. congress has a responsibility to the american people to ensure national defense. we need to know and have you share those negotiations with us and changes that impact our security relationships between us and russia. that should be done by treaty as they have been done in the past. >> i've never discussed any of this with the president. i know he knows and believes and is committed to treaties. that's the purview of the united states senate as the senate
passed the new-start treaty. all that goes into that negotiation in this particular case, russia, certainly congress has to be involved in that. >> that is very important, senator hagel. i have to tell you there is unease here that may not be in the works. it has been some discussion for some time about private or unilateral or bilateral conversations that congress is not involved in. that's why this was passed. it was just passed. we expect you to comply with that and i take your testimony that you will comply. >>ly comply with all requirements and laws, absolutely. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator sessions. senator king? >> senator hagel, one of the first meetings i had when i ran
for this office last summer was a group of veterans from world war ii all the way up to afghanistan and iraq. one of the things that came up in that meeting is the issue of employability and employment of recent veterans. the suggestion was made that the army and the military has recruiters, people who help to bring people in. perhaps it would make sense for them to have the reciprocal of recruiters, out placement of people who deal with soldiers who are about to leave. there's an information gap is what the veterans told me between leaving the military active duty and then going into the veteran's administration jurisdiction. there is a gap there and i don't need a response but that is a suggestion i might make. it would be helpful to provide
that information, what are the scholarships and i'm sure it is done to some extent but to increase it. and to make that com parrable to the effort that goes into recruiting. >> i will think about that. i have not thought about that potential but i would say that as we think through, how do we accommodate and fulfill commments and assist our veterans? i thinkest with to open up new thinking. if i'm confirmed i look forward to pursue that idea with you. >> thank you. i'm also serving on the intelligence committee and one of the issues and you talked
about it is the whole issue of counterterrorism. it involves a number of agencies and bodies in the united states government. i would commend you that i think it deserves real thought as to where the department of defense and the stops and c.i.a. begins in terms of action and counterterrorism action. i think it would be worthwhile if you're confirmed to meet with mr. brennan and if he is confirmed and talk about coordination. so we don't end up with similar functions in different regions in the world with different rules of engagement and all of these -- those kinds of things. counterterrorism covers the gap between the communities. >> that is an area that is more and more relevant, complicated,
if confirmed, yes. if mr. brennan is confirmed we will be spending time together. >> final thought and i know you touched on this, i don't think we can adequately emphasize the problem of the cyber threat. that may be the war of the future. my sense is that -- we're all talking about it but i don't think we have the sense urgency. people can die and our society can be brought to a stand still without a rocket ever taking off or an airplane penetrating our airspace. i now that is a point of emphasis, like i said i think
that is going to be the next war. >> i noted in my opening statement, i agree with everything you said. this is a huge issue that looms large over our future and our security. if confirmed, it will have a lot of my attention. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> in the absence of the chairman, snort, i believe it is your opportunity. >> -- first of all, we've all expressed our deep respect for our country but let me thank you for your endurance. we appreciate it. i want to ask you about a speech that you made in 2007. it was at the center for strategic and international
studies and it was a speech entitled "united states and iran at dangerous crossroads." in that speech, in referring to iran you said that the strategy of containment remains relevant today. i want to ask you about that statement that you made in 2007 about the strategy of containment remains relevant. that was in 2007, but why would you say that, first of all. isn't that inconsist ant -- inconsistent with what you've said today. >> i don't have the speech in front of me but i think there is more to it than the few words that you quoted. if i recall the entire speech was how do we deal with iran. if i recall, within that
inventory what are the options? i don't think that speech says i support it. >> no, but you said it was relevant to discussion with iran and i guess i would say why do you think that is a strategy that we should have considered. it was one of the things you mentioned. >> as i said in the context -- >> i don't want to be unfair. but to be clear the quote that you said was the strategy of containment remains relevant. why is it relevant with regards to iran? >> the bigger point is, what i was saying, i haven't looked at that speech since i gave it. i do recall some of it and the point was what is the range of options that we would have to look at, what the world would look at it? again, i did not recommend it, i did not support it.
>> was that containment was one of the options? >> yes. i mean, of course. when you look at the whole range of what your options are -- >> you think containment is one of the options now? >> no, i don't now. it does not make any difference what i think. it is when you look at ranges, it is like the global zero. that was not a recommendation report. that was a range of goals and possibilities. that was not -- that report never said we recommend the following. if i recall that speech it was the same kind of what was the range. >> i want to be clear. it does matter what you think and your understanding and your thought-process on these issues is important to us. as a follow-up, one of the senators asked you about the portion of the book you wrote
and it was in that book, you said "the jennie of nuclear is already out of the bottle jfments in this imperfect world as opposed to stateless troast groups will -- terrorist groups will respond with the same behavior. do you believe that iran will respond with the same behavior? >> it is not what i suggested in that quote as you know. >> it is in the context but i'm asking you straight fordly do you think the iran's regime responds -- you talk about stateless terrorist organizations. do you believe in the context of iran, do you believe that the iranian regime responds with some degree of responsible or
same behavior or will respond like that? >> so far they have not. i have said, as you know, in that same book that you quoted from that iran is a state sponsored terrorism. i've said that many times. no, is the answer. >> if they are not responding and they haven't been responding with a degree of responsible or same behavior as you say in your book. i'm also struggling with the question why you would have thought it was appropriate for us to have direct, unconditional talks with iran. here we have a regime that does not respond in the same behavior and what we -- why we should that would be an appropriate manner to address them? >> i said engagement and i think we should talk. we are talking in the p-5.
i think that is responsible and it is always responsible to talk first. north korea, i don't think -- i don't consider north korea a responsible, sane administration but we're talking to north korea. we're talking bilaterally with north korea. i think that is wise. i think it is always wise to try to talk to people before you get into war. >> but i think your beyond the p-5. your for withing direct discussions with the two country and establishing diplomatic tie between the countries. >> when i talk about diplomatic ties and i said in 2002, encouraging iran to join the wnto. that is wiser to push
institutions like china into world bodies. when they go into world bodies they have to comply with some international behavior. doesn't mean they always will, they won't. they cheat. i've never thought engagement as weakness, i never thought it was surrenderer. it is clear in our interests. if that does not work then i think the president's position and his strategy has been exactly right. get the united nations behind you, keep military options on the table. if the military option is the only option, its is the only option. >> just to be clear, i don't think engagement is a weakness either but i think there is a huge disticks when we're dealing with a regime with the largest
terrorism. what they are doing in syria and hamas. i think there is always a dis tings i know my time has expired and i will submit for the record which i find are very important. i share the important work done at the shipyard with my colleagues and i snow senator king is focused on that. i know senator blumenthal asked you about that as well. i do have concerns that the report recommends that the submarine will be diminished down to 10. >>ly be glad to respond. >> senator fisher? >> thank you mr. chairman and senator hagel. it has been a long day and i
appreciate your answers to these questions. when we spoke last week we talked somewhat about the sequester and the budget concerns and the concerns of our nuclear forces. being from nebraska you understand the importance of stress com and its mission as it deals with the deterrence that we use in this country and what we've used for many, many years. i believe it is very, very successful. today, you also in your opening discussed the need to modernize our defensive forces. you spoke to senator blunt and blumenthal about modernizing our navy. i would like to hear your thought process. how are we going to do this?
where is the money coming from? how are you going to advise the president in making these decisions? we're looking at sequester, we're looking at budget constraints. how does this all tie together? what would be your advice to the president on how the pentagon is going to address all of those budget constraints? >> well, let's start with where we are. the pentagon is adjusting and i think, responsible -- responsibly to our future based on the budget control act of 2011. you know the details of that. the chief has submitted plans as we rebalance and refit and unwind a second war and all the dynamics that are changing them
since the last decade. it gives us new opportunities. audits, all the acquisition focus, accountability, we are being forced -- the department of defense -- to take a hard look at its priorities. as i said before, it begins with mission then the resources to fulfill that mission and then what are the priorities within that mission. how do you finance it all? if sequestration would to take effect, then all of this will be affected. that is exactly right. we've deferred some decisions. we set back some of the schedules on some of our ships, planes, decisions on a number of things. it isn't just the dollars that affect this but it is the planning and the flexibility. it is the ability to bring all
of this together and project and plan. so in no way, i hope i did not give any indication that we were going to be able to continue to do everything for everybody everywhere. that is not a reality. >> we can't. how do you decide? you've made commitments to members here today on philosophy, on working with this committee. do we have a commitment to build up the navy? do we have a commitment to strap com so they can continue their missions of deter rens? how do you decide, what is your advice? is that important, would it be a priority and your advice to the president? >> the pentagon is working off
the defense act of 2013 which this committee passed. that is the directive that frames the budgetary restraints if sequestration takes effect. that prioritizes what is important, what do you budget for, who what do you finance? we have to manage that. if i'm confirmed then i will be working closely with our chiefs and all of our managers and decision makers on how to do this. i think strat com is vitally important to the future of this country. it was my position when i was in the senate and long before i was in the senate. of the nine commands, as you know that is one of them, that is a key command. we have to continue to fund our
commands and find ways to do that. but that's going to require tough choices and hard decisions. >> right. also, i believe we need to make sure we don't have hollow forces out there as well. my time is up. once again, i thank you for your service. i thank you for being here today. i thank you for your willingness to continue to serve the people of this country. thank you. >> thank you very much, senator fisher. >> thank you, chairman. i thank you senator hagel for staying today and the answers you've given. one of the things we're frustrated about is the difficulty of getting information of the groups you have spoken to in the last year. of course, the hundreds of groups you have spoken to in the course of your career would be too much to ask. i have three comments from groups that i'm going to enter
into the record. two comments you made before groups. one, the american arab conference in 2002. another conference in 2007. in 2006, the one i will put in record right now and enter the others, the council on islamic relations forum, university of chicago professor praised hagel for not being pro-israel. he said potential candidates like hillary clinton, john mccain, joe biden were falling all over themselves to express their support for israel. the only exception to that rule was senator chuck hagel. i don't have anything to go with that with what you might have said but -- some of the concerns
-- i used to say when i was the whip in the house you can count on the house and the senate to be among other thing, always pro-israel. i think that is the main stream of our views. i've seen a number of times that you've said you can be pro-israel but that does not mean you have to be for everything that israel is for. they are what they are. they are reported from comments that you made that are out of the context of the other comments. also, earlier today, i asked you about the bloated pentagon. you said that -- those comments were before the sequestration bill passed. they were after the bill passed. sequestration passed on august 2 and the interview was on august
29. what you said on august 29 of -- in that "financial times" interview you said "the defense department, i think -- this is your quote "the defense department is bloated. let's look at the reality is that the defense department has gotten everything they wanted and more. we've taken priority, we've taken dollars, policies out of the state department and a number of other departments and put them over in defense. " that comment was after the sequestration. now, 18 months later if this nomination is approved it would be running and again -- where do we find those bloated things in
the defense department and when will are you prioritizing? another way to ask what mrs. fisher was asking, are we going to let money drive strategy or strategy drive the money? as secretary of defense, which of those possessions are you going to take -- positions are you going to take? i hope you're an advocate for strategic-driven spending in the pentagon rather than the caretaker of the money that winds up there. >> senator, thank you. there are a lot of pieces and i know we have time issues. let me start this way. first on the comments i made in the "financial times" interview as i address that today. that was an extenive interview about a lot of things. i was three weeks off.
>> well, you were after the sequestration bill had passed. >> not sequestration the budget control act. >> they were talking about what will would happen if you take these cuts. >> that's what i was talking about. but the budget control act was implemented a few months later which i agreed with and obviously, the majority of the congress did as well. trying to find $1 trillion in savings and $400 billion is coming out of d.o.d. for the next 10 years. your bigger point, the reality of what the congress has passed. what the congress has decided to aproper prison yit for each federal agency. in this current fiscal year we're living in, as you know,
$525 billion operating budget. so the department of defense works within the framework of those numbers. i said a number of times here, i agree with you. that budget alone should not drive our national security. of course not. what is the mission? what are the priorities? what you just brought up about different projects as senator fisher and others have asked me about. how do you fund everything? should you fund everything? do times change, are there different threats? do we need to change our presence in asia? we've decided we're going to do that. we're moving marines around in the pacific. that was not the case 10 years ago. things change.
you manage and direct your efforts and you lead based on the security interest of your country first. if i'm confirmed, senator, i will be have to be a strong evacuate for the defense department. that is part of -- advocate for the defense department. >> you do have that responsibility. >> i do that's right. >> the point is that you're advocating for the money that you think you need that will you think we can strategyly accomplish then at the end of the day you have to deal with the money that you have. you have to let the money be defined by the strategy other than the other way around. once again i'm out of time. >> i agree with that.
>> senator reid. >> we have listened all afternoon to a series of questions about what you said in 2006, 2007, i expect if you're confirmed the president of the united states will not ask you about your speeches. he will ask you if you're prepared to advise him on matters of literally life and death. you have prepared the department of defense with every con tin chency. that you are fundamentally committed to the welfare of our troops and families because you've seen, as a soldier, that ultimately, they are the difference in our military.
so looking back to individual quotes and footnotes and etc. but looking ahead. if you are there and the president turns to you, can you give us -- i think you can, the confidence that you are prepared to give him advice that he has commander in chief must make. >> when the president asked me to consider this job, i didn't want another job. i was not looking for another job. i had a pretty good life since i left the senate, nothing personal. the friendships that we have maintained here we will treasure for always. highest privilege of my life serving this body. i say that because i wasn't
looking for another job. the president asked me to come see him and we had a long conversation one night, just the two of us. it was over an hour. we talked about the job, the world, security, the future, and within the context of that conversation we got down into what about this job? i didn't try to sell him on the job that i could do it. in fact, when he asked me about why am i qualified or why would i be uniquely qualified, i said i'm not. there are a lot of qualified americans that can do this job. i don't think a lot of them in the sense they are out there everywhere. but i'm not the only one. i said mr. president, i'm not
going to try to convince you that i'm the right person. you know my record and you know what i believe. i've worked with him closely over the last four years on the president's intelligence advisory board. that allowed me to stay current with intelligence and make a contribution a little bit there. i've served on secretary panetta's policy boards. i do have some understanding, as i told him of this. but why i think -- when we talked about it i agreed to go forward with this is because the tremendous opportunities and the important time that we are living in and the opportunities
we now have to make a better world. i think the next few years are going to be as defining in the country as truly as any few years post-world war ii. i told the president, he was here at a very defining time. if i can help him do that, if i can help this country, i want to do it. the experiences i will bring to the job, senator, you know i think i've got a vareried background. i think like any job judgment is the ultimate deter innocent of everything. responsible experience but that adds up to judgment and i hope if i'm confirmed i can do those things to give the president and this country wise, informed, honest advice.
i will do everything within my power to do that. >> thank you very much. >> senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to ask some additional questions to further explore you record. are you familiar with an individual named freeman? >> yes. >> if i understand correctly he was a vice chairman at the atlantic council, is that correct? >> he was one of many board members and i think was a vice chairman but i never worked with him in the atlantic count. but i know him, yes. >> you and he were part of a group that traveled to china as well, is that correct? >> no, that is not correct. >> there have been press reports
to that. >> those are incorrect. >> there has also been press reports that described him to help coordinate to defend your nomination. is that correct? >> i haven't spoken to him in years. i don't know of any active that he is involved in to endorse me. there's a lot of people endorsing me that i appreciate but i haven't spoken to him in years. >> is he someone whose judgment that you respect? >> i think he has been an important public servant for this country. people have different opinions on different issues. i don't agree with everybody and it is clear that not everybody agrees with me. that's ok. >> do you consider his views well within the mainstream?
>> what views? >> his views on the middle east and israel. >> i'm not familiar with all his views. i can't speak for him. >> let's move on to your record then. you stated in your prepared remark "my overall world view has never changed." i find that difficult to reconcile with positions that you have taken over the decade and significant shifts since you've been mom neighborhood -- nominated. i would like to go through past statements. beginning with number one, 2001 you voted against legislation sanction in iran. am i correct that you don't agree with that position? >> i have said on the record,
multilateral international -- >> do you agree with sanctions against iran? >> i'm sorry? >> do you think sanctions with aran are are a good idea? so it is fair that you no longer agree with the position in 2001. >> that because unilateral in the bush administration -- >> today, do you think the sanctions are a bad idea in >> it is a different time now. >> please answer the question. today, do you think sanctions would be a bad idea? >> not today. 12 years later. times have changed and we have international sanction on them. >> in 2007, you voted against legislation designating the guard as a terrorist group. >> that's correct. >> today your view is they are a
terrorist group. >> that is part of the iranian government. >> i'm not asking the reason, i'm asking for you views today. do you believe they are a terrorist group, yes or no? >> it is part of a state sponsored terrorism. >> is that a yes? >> that vote wasn't that question. >> your views today, do you believe the iranian is a terrorist group? >> it is part of -- it is part of the government that supports terrorism. >> is that a yes or no? >> it is the answer i just gave you. >> in 2008, you voted against exreave iran sanctions. >> that again was a unilateral sthangs the bush administration was opposed to. the secretary of state of this
country -- >> sir, my time is limited. i understand you want to give reasons. i'm trying to clarify your positions today. look at number four, you stated you're not sure it is necessary to keep all options on the table with regard to iran's nuclear program. do you agree with that position today or is that no longer your position? >> i don't recall that. i've always said that all options remain on the table. >> so this is not your position today? >> no, it is not. i said all options must remain on the table. >> the final one i'm going to ask you, 1998 senate hearing, you stated that the u.s. is tilted too far towards israel in the peace process. do you continue to agree with
this position? >> i don't remember that the context of the hearing or the speech or all the things that i said in it. no, i don't think that the united states is tilted too far to israel. i support the president's position towards israel. i said in my book and other speeches -- >> you do not agree with this policy. i've a list of 10 other statements that you said in the past and i'm confident that would not agree with. in my judgment, as a united states senator, you and i do not know each other but your record demonstrates greater antagonism for israel and also demonstrated a greater willingness to stand gens sanctions, stand against military action, stand against
any strong position, iran, hamas, hezbollah, terrorists. that is why "the washington post" described your views near the fringe of the senate. that raises questions about you suitability to serve as the secretary of defense. in my view, having a secretary of defense who is not viewed as supporting credible strong military action makes it more likely that the united states will be drawn into military conflict. i think that would be an unfortunate outcome. thank you. >> thank you, senator cruz. that ends the second round. if you want an opportunity to comment on that, if not i will ask you other questions. in reaction to one of the things
that you said, it doesn't matter what i believe -- it does matter. i think what you were pointing out that unfortunately, is what the president believes. i think that is what you were aiming at. >> that is exactly what i was aiming at and that is what i meant to say. thank you. >> i'm going to ask you the standard questions that i've delayed and these are just questions that we ask of every nominee. would you adhere the applications in regard to conflicts of interest? >> yes. >> have you assumed any duties or under take any actions that would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process? >> no. would you ensure that your staff complies with deadlines and establish requested for
communication, including question for the records? >> yes. >> if you are confirmed will you corporate until providing witnesses in response to questions? >> yes. >> will those witnesses be protected for they testimony or briefings? >> yes. >> do you agree if confirmed to appear and testify upon request before this committee? >> yes. >> do you agree that you will provide documents, including copies of electronic forms in a timely manner or consult with the committee regarding the basis of any good faith delay or denial in providing such documents? >> yes. >> now, we've completed our second round. that means we can -- if there are questions that remain we can take a few minutes for them. anybody who wants to -- yes, senator king. >> in watching television over
last week or so i've seen an ad questioning your nomination. i just wondered if you or any of the people who worked on preparing you for this worked on sponsoring that ad? have you gotten to the bottom of that? >> first, i have not seen any of those ads. i know they are there. i long ago figured out the better way to live life is not get dragged down into the underbrush of these kinds of things. so i don't pay attention to it. my focus is on what is important or this assignment, this job, if i'm confirmed, in particular, this committee and this body and preparing myself, hopefully for
what matters and the possibility with the united states senate confirms me with this job. i don't know, never seen the ads. >> thank you very much. thank you for your testimony today. you've been forth wright and strong and i appreciate your commitment to this country . >> thank you, senator. >> another question? >> very briefly i wanted to thank you for this commitment to this committee to provide a complete accounting and copies of the speeches you have given. number two, to respond the letter that you received two days ago requesting financial specifics. i also would ask you in our discussion of freeman that your not close with him but his views are within the mainstream if
that is fair. >> i did not say mainstream. i don't know. >> what i would ask you to do is review in particular a speech that mr. freeman gave on march 4, 2011 at the palestine conference in washington, d.c. in particular, i would be interested in your views on the fifth paragraph of that speech. in any view, the views expressed in that speech are not action kit and not within the mainstream. i would be interested if you con cure in that assessment or have a different assessment? >> you're asking that for the record? >> yes. >> other questions need to be submitted for the record by tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.
i assume that senator cruz when he has agreed to provide all the speeches, it all the speeches he has access to, is that fair? >> that he has or can get copies of. i would hope he would engage and try to get copies. >> if you have easy access even if you don't have them we would expect that you can provide those as well. >> mr. chairman, i will commit to that and every request as i said, some of this i didn't see until yesterday. but everything that is out there that we can find we'll make every effort to get it and provide it. >> we appreciate that. again, the record will be open
until tomorrow at 5:00. your answers we hope and expect to be in by monday at 5:00 p.m. because we would like to move this nomination forward to a resolution first on this committee. that timetable would help us move in a fast way. we thank you. we thank your family and friends. we will now -- unless there are other questions, we will stand adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> chuck hagel as he thanks the chair as he wraps up well over eight hours of testimony today, taking questions from the members of the committee. then a third round of questioning and we're going to use this opportunity to hear from you. your thoughts on the testimony today by chuck hagel as the next defense secretary. we welcome our listens on c-span radio as well. the numbers are on your screen. we'll have this hearing as well tonight in our prime time schedule 5:00 for those on the
west coast. a note about tomorrow when john kerrlyry will be sworn in as the next secretary of state taking over for hillary clinton. there could be a vote for chuck hagel by next week. let's hear from you. dave is on the phone, democrats line. good afternoon. caller: good afternoon. my concern is that a former secretary defense gates indicated when he was in office he would like to get rid of the mid-level-type managers who we thought were basically an expense to the agency that is not necessary. i tend to agree with him. the statement i would like to make, a new secretary of defense and i hope he will be confirmed votes the same way.
there are a lot of hardworking people there but there is a lot of way they can be taken out. much in the area of management. there's more agencies should have less management and should have more consolidation. for the younger people i would like to see them remain and i would be in favor if the president would be willing, to issue an executive order to have people in the department of defense who are 65 or old irto have them retire. so we can keep the younger and more energetic and more educated force there and get rid of these older people. i'm not against old people but there is a lot of expense when you get older in the agency, you have a higher salary. the people coming in are all college educated, especially in the contracts area. if someone needs to cut people, i hate to say it, the older and the people who are retirement
eligible. those who are hanging on year after year and not doing the job. host: thank you for the call. one of three senate offices here in washington, d.c. as the hearing concludes. the senate arms committee. the day began at 9:30 eastern time. you can see senator hagel as he go to the room adjacent to the hearing room. gary is on the phone, miami beach, florida. good afternoon. caller: my comment is that it is a testament to where we are as a country that we're bringing up a whole decades of war. yet, it was not until the latter
part of the hearings when senator blunt asked about the troop force and also senator donley, i believe, from indiana raised the tragedy of the suicides that are occurring in the military. in 2012, the suicide outpaced battlefield's death. that issue was given such a short conversation on a senator hearing. i think it is really telling about where we are as a country and, you know, for me, personally i wonder when all of this flatterry that these men -- mostly men, all of them older that the flatterry they bestow on the troops and how much they love the troops. yet, obviously, they are at the
bottom of the barrel. host: ok. thank for the call. we're take your tweets as well. who is getting fired at the white house for advising to pick chuck hagel? nobody, he will still get confirmed. we're getting comments on our facebook page as well. from mike who says senator hagel an honorable streetian veteran must be -- vietnam veteran must be confirmed. hagel should have replied, senator, do you still maintain that sarah palin was qualified to be one heartbeat away from the presidency? >> good afternoon. as you pointed out i'm a
democrat. first of all, i'm an american and i'm an american veteran. serving this country like senator hagel did, i could agree with him it is a privilege. sending in some of these folks that oppose his nomination like mr. cruz from texas, i believe. i'm not sure he served one day in uniform or even put himself in harm's way for this country. yet, he sits up there and the position he takes like he commands -- in my opinion, no respect. i could disagree with him more and lindsay graham, i have some respect because he is in the
national guard and he does wear a uniform. there's some honest contribution that he makes toward the country. host: thanks for the call. on the twitter page, anyone watching this chuck hagel with ted cruz proved that hagel had flip-flopped multiple times. this is from our facebook page that she has hague is not an honorable man. his past is coming back to haunt him. as a texan i'm a palled by senator cruz. one more call and i will take you back to the hearing with john mccain and chuck hagel. adam is next on the republican line. caller: thanks for taking my call. i watched this entire hearing and there was several issues that i definitely had a problem with. senator hagel, i have no disrespect for his service in the armed forces nor do i for anybody who serves this great
country. as was pointed out, by several members of the senate the amount of flip flopping that he did while anxious certain questions -- while answering certain questions. their voting records show that most clearly there are stamps on specific issues in 2001, 2008, 2010. senator hagel has now decided that his votes that he voted and some of the comments he made regarding israel and sanctions on iran they were debating the same topic now his mind has changed. there's a couple of things that concern me. it has less to do with iran and israel. i'm very focused on the weapons exchange that has been given to
egypt. they are in route to egypt and 200 tanks that are going to be deployed to egypt during 2013. host: thanks forhost: we shouldd one of her final public events, hillary clinton speaking at the council of foreign relations, and the entire event airing tonight on c-span is available on our waste -- website at c- span.org. one of the exchange's today getting attention, between mccain and hagel. this runs six minutes. we will show it in your entire ready. >> thank you, and i am pleased to see an old friend before the committee, and especially
pleased to see senator warner and senator nunn, who have contributed so much to our nation's defense. senator hagel, the members of this committee will raise questions about your policy positions, not reasonable people disagree. our concerns pertaining to the quality of your professional judgment and your world view on critical areas of national security, including security in the middle east. let me begin with your opposition to the surge in iraq. 2006, republicans lost the election and we began the search and you wrote a piece in "the washington post," "leaving iraq honorably." you said it was not in the national interest to deepen our
military involvement. in january seven2002007, after nonsense about syria and crossing the border from iran into syria, and the reference to cambodia in 1970, he said, "when he set in motion the policy the president is talking about here, it is dangerous. i have to say, i take this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam if it is carried out. i will resist it. and you talk about what disaster the search would become even to the point where it was clear the surge was succeeding. in 2008, you said you hear the
term quagmire, which could apply. if that is not a quagmire, then what is approved even as late as august 29, 2011, in an interview -- 2011 -- in an interview with the financial times, you said i disagreed with the president, president obama, his decision on iraq as i did with president bush on the surge in iraq. do you stand by those comments? >> i stand by them because i made them. i will explain why. >> i want to know if you bore
right or wrong. >> the search assisted in the objective, but if we review their record -- >> will you please into the question. where you correct when he said the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since the a number of words you incorrect or correct? >> my reference -- and not argue not answering the question? the question was argue right or wrong? i would like to answer whether you are right or wrong, and then you are free to elaborate. >> well, i am not going to give you a yes or no answer -- >> let the record show that the person refused to answer the question. >> if you want me to explain c-- >> i would like an answer yes
or no. >> i will defer that judgment to history. as to the comment i made about the most dangerous foreign policy decision about vietnam was about not just the search, but the overall war of choice going into iraq. that particular decision that was made on the surge, but more to the point, the war in iraq, i think was the most fundamental dangerous decisions since the it now. aside from the costs that occurred in this country, to blood and treasure, aside from what that did to take our focus off of afghanistan, which in fact was the original and real focus of the national threat to this country, iraq was not, i always tried to frame all the
different issues before i made a decision on anything. now, just as you said, we can have differences of opinion. that is essentially what i took the position on. >> a fundamental parts of opinion, senator hagel, that senator graham and i spent our time to prevent that's 60th vote in the send it to. thank god for senator lieberman. you're on the wrong side. your refusal to answer will have an impact on my judgment on whether to vote for your confirmation or not. i hope you reconsider to not answer a question. >> senator, there was more to it than just flooding -- >> i am asking about the search. >> i know you are, and i try to explain my position. the beginning of the search also
factored in what the general put in place in anbar, as you know, we put over 100,000 senator -- >> i am aware of the awakening, and in the observer will know that the surge was the by twoental factor, led tw great leaders. >> i do not know if that would have been required which cost us more than a thousand american lives. >> ok. host: that is one of the many exchanges between senator mccain questioning chuck hagel. the committee will take up a vote next week depending on the schedule, and if it is passed, the confirmation will go to the senate floor, assuming no delays. joining us is a person calling
us from political powero. you just saw the exchange. you could sense the animosity between two, and at times it got personal. >guest: you could see there was controversy to be talked about. senator mccain in a testy exchange rate there was also a lot of fierce exchanges between lindsey graham, ted cruz, and senator hagel as well. hagel seemed at times to be taken aback by the tone of questioning. host: to be prepared for this. guest: he has spent a lot of time preparing and looking at what statements he should make in terms of various questions that might be put to him. there were times that he did not
seem so sure footed. host: as you look at this hearing, which was the law this confirmation hearing that a person has been a part of, what happens next? guest: the committee will look to have a vote to see if they can pass it to the full senate. senator carl levin, the chairman, told reporters that that could happen as early as next thursday. there has not been a schedule for that, so it depends on senator hagel possibility to put forward a response to questions that he has been asked about. host: a lot of reaction to the questioning by senator lindsey graham and senator ted cruz of texas, a new member of this committee, a freshman senator from the lone star state. what was your take on their questioning?
guest: very aggressive. lindsey graham not come out and said he is going to oppose chuck hagel cut. based on the posturing today, it seems hard to believe that lindsey graham could support him. ted cruz is a relatively -- a brand new member of the senate, and he is going through one of his first confirmation proceedings. he took no prisoners today and met through rounds of questioning using video and slides to question hagel and his record. guest: we're talking with tim mak. as anyone on the democratic side come out in opposition? guest:no, no single senator has come out. 8 lindsay graham said
he would possibly put a hold on the nomination . do is get a to testify? guest: have not figured that out yet. we note there should be a hearing on benghazi next week. this is all touch and go. we have not figured out the confirmation of what is going to happen next week. guest: thanks for being with us. ed is on the phone from oregon. caller: hi. i have been listening to this hearing and your recent people they're expressing their views. i will tell you what is disheartening. we have a man who has proven his ability and his experience,
etc., in the military, and then you have these folks that are -- you can disagree, but to come out there and be like sharks. senator mccain and graham, and the new kid on the block, cruz, i used to have respect for mccain, but i think it is time for his rocking chair. he talks about living on the wrong side of history, and i think as we go forward, we will find out who is on the wrong side of history. i find it disheartening, these senators who are supposed to be so patriotic. they are a bunch of bullies.
you can disagree. one of their comrades, and they are our republicans, to come out there and display what they do. it's really disheartening. host: thanks for the call. on the facebook page, this is from eugene -- and brit saying he has been bullish all day. next is richard joining us from missouri. caller: 94 veteran -- by an belfort veteran. he is a republican, but also a
great american. i do not see how some of those people who never even put on a uniform trying to tell them what to do. why can a man change his mind, but a fool never will. host: when it did you serve? caller: the vietnam war. host: thank you for sharing your call. republican , texas. caller: s, mr. henkel has to stand on his record, and is record as anti-israeli and pro- iranian and. those senators who questioned him did their homework. they have the records, and they questioned him about the things he said that word different.
he made up his speech to change his mind on all the things he thought he should change his mind on. he really did not change his mind. he just said that because he wants to get approved. host: karl is next, florida. caller: thank you so much for taking my call. i have been watching this all day. i am amazed. i thought john mccain and ted cruz -- i thought they believe the man. these are people i used to respect. i think chuck hagel held up well today. it was a grueling session. i do not think there has ever been eight session this long. the man, he is a moderate. he thinks correctly. yes, he should be able to change his mind, because of what ever
situation is in front of him, he is going to vote the way he thinks is the right way. host: final thought? caller: we should nominate this guy, he is the man. host: the entire day was 8 1/2 hours. the hearing will be airing tonight on c-span television getting underway at 8:00. next call is phillip from orlando, florida. caller: hello. i am happy you took my call. it is a great shame to see chuck hagel attacked by fellow republicans. i am ashamed of that. i am so ashamed to see him being beat down by his own republican party. it is a great disgrace. the only thing he did wrong
was being nominated by a democratic president. if he were nominated by a republican president, he would not be treated this way. if they can treat them this way, what hope do we have proo? i think john mccain is proving who he is. he's to be the voice of reason. today the top to chuck hagel like he did not know him anymore. host: that is the last word. the conversation continues on our facebook page, and you can continue to send a tweed as well. endicott, the full airing of that hearing today by the senate ices committee today. up next, we will take you to an
event that took place earlier today, a breakfast meeting with a head of the nra. washington continues to debate what to do with the issue of gun violence in america. from this morning, the christian science monitor breakfast here on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> here we go. thank you for coming. our guest this morning is david keene, president of the national rifle association. our guest has had a lifelong interest in politics. he is a graduate of the university of wisconsin law school. he ran unsuccessfully for the united states senate, and has worked as an operative for a who's who of republican candidates. he was a political assistant to
spiro agnew. he has had key roles in the presidential campaigns of ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, and robert dole. he has been a fellow at the harvard institute of politics. so much for biography. now on to the exciting matters of process. we are on the record. no filing of any kind while the practice is underway. there is no embargo when the burress test is under way except that c-span has not agreed to use video until after it up breakfast has ended. i tell guests that despite major changes in the news business the breakfast cripps group remains committed to conversations between newsmakers and journalists. your help is appreciated on mornings when guests are at the center of a controversial issue,
as our guest is. if you would like to ask a question, do the traditional thing and send me a subtle signal and i would do my best to call on one and off. i will give mr. keene the opportunity to make some comments. >> will not spend a lot of time making a speech, because i would rather have a conversation and answer any questions and respond to any concerns that you might have. yesterday was the first hearing since newtown before the senate judiciary committee, and a number of witnesses there on both sides of the issue discussed the various approaches, presumably, to prevent future mass shootings
and to deal with gun crime. our concern was a lot of the senators and some of the witnesses were more concerned with guns than with either gun crime or effective measures to deal with these things. there are a lot of areas in which we are perfectly prepared to work both with this administration and with congress where we think there should be some real improvement and some real opportunities to create a safer society, so we are encouraged by that. we continue to take the position as we always have that while we are not experts on a lot of things, we know a bit about fire arms, about the second amendment, when a little bit about what works and what does not work in terms of crime, and we're not willing to support measures which we feel unduly burden innocent and law-abiding americans, and on the other side did not have any real impact on the problems we're trying to
solve. with that, why don't i throw it open to questions. >> that is the land speed record for opening remarks. >> learn that people who want to ask questions did not want to hear people talk. >> you are on the front page of today's "the wall street journal." what was your response to gabrielle giffords' plea for an additional dunkirkgun curbs? >> she said something needs to be done, and i think we agree with that. it is not that there is a great number of these things that have happened, but if there are measures that to be taken to deal with the sort of mass shootings that took place in newtown and gun crime, the steps
should be taken. it was like the senator from connecticut at the statement from sandy hook, where everybody could agree with the statement, but the statement was very much like what former congressman giffords said, to was that something ought to be done. those of us who sat there during that hearing and those who testified, we may disagree on what would be effective, what can be done within the context of the rights of innocent americans, but we all agree on the goal, and that is really what policy discussions should be about. they should be about how you solve a problem. people can disagree on what conditions were and did not work, but there is not a lot of this remote with the fact the problems ought to be dealt with. [indiscernible] "morningterday greater 's
joe," it was said the greatest danger to the second amendment was the policy that moves the republican so far away from mainstream america that they lose the house, the senate in 2014, and they lose the presidency. the theory was that a democratic president would nominate the supreme court justices less amenable to gun rights. what is wrong with that assessment, that your strategy is not in step with the american people? >> i do not think the idea that the position of the national rifle a station -- national rifle association takes is wrong. we have about 4.5 million members, and the gallup polls that have been taken in recent years say that up to 40 million
americans say they are members, a dupont with us. beyond that, i used to say when i was talking with us the one thing i can say about the nra is we have a higher approval read the than either party. that is such a lobar that i did not say it any more. the approval rating of the nra is on par with the president. we have consistently and continued to speak not just for our 4.5 million members, but for gun owners and believers of the second amendment. the political influence if you will of the nra is not the result of our lobbyists and operations in washington. it is not the result of what i might say. it is the result of the fact that over the years we have represented people from both parties. a lot of our members are democrats. independents, small business people, housewives, and one think they have demonstrated
over time is that when they perceive their rights to be threatened, they will vote. it will also contact their congressmen and senators. i think that is our role. we believe strongly in the second amendment rights of the american people. we think the suggestions that we have made, particularly the suggestions we have made on how to protect our children, resonate very well with the american people, and poll after poll and showed this, that the american people and the public recognize the need for security on the one hand and recognize that the recalls of this problem is not the firearm, because of this problem is that we in this country have managed to destroy a mental health care system of the last few decades that lets the kinds of people who should either receive treatment to coexist in a civil society or should be kept out of that society, because they are potentially dangerous to others, they need to be dealt with.
almost all of these mass shooters, different from gun criminals, tend to be people who have severe mental problems. i bore when i am not wearing my nra hat, one of the things i am involved with this criminal justice reform. in every single state in this country, not in some states, not in the states, but in every single state there are more people in prison who have been diagnosed as severely mentally ill than there are in that state's private and public health care facilities. one thing we know is that prisons did not cure people who have severe mental problems. they get released on the street, as happened in new york, the shooting in new york where two firemen were killed by a man who had been in prison for hitting his mother in law and had eight times with a hammer, to kill her. before he was let out he told
the first thing he wanted to kill his sister. what kind of a system that does not deal with what kind of a system is it that does not deal with something like that before, the situation where someone was pushed in front of a subway in queens. >> i agree that the mental health system does not serve us well. as you know, the pew polls show that 85% americans agree with closing the gun show loophole. gallup, 91%. aren't you out of step there? >> actually, i am surprised at some of the numbers in the wake of newtown, all of the publicity, all of the hand-
rending. partly, when you get into this growing headlines around and charges, you get people to react to something that they have not really thought through. our position very early on, the nra is a strong supporter of the national instant check system. that is the database run by the fbi that when you go to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, you are immediately checked through these databases to see if you are on a list as a prohibited purchaser. the problem the system is that it needs to be fixed. it has got real problems. the president likes to say that some 2 million people have been prohibited from buying a firearm because of the system. 13 people have been prosecuted.
the chairman of the judiciary committee said that we needed a lot to prevent straw purchases of firearms because it is no law. there is a federal law against strong purchasing and the making of false statements to buy a firearm for someone else that can result in a 10-year minimum sentence. that is on the books. in one year of some 76,000 people that were denied the purchase of a firearm, some 60 something were prosecuted and there was 13 convictions. 13 out of 76,000. if that is the case and these people were prohibited people, then why are they being prosecuted? if they did not get a firearm there, they get it somewhere else. you would think that if they could not get one there, they would go by in a privately or they would get it at a gun show. in fact, there has been surveys and criminals do not really buy guns at gun shows. if you have ever been to one,
you are bumping into a uniformed police officer every five minutes. we have 300 million firearms in this country. when talking about what we're going to do, it may sound on examination, it is to be something else. we have had a debate over the gun show loophole for years. you get the impression and if i did not know anything about it, i would have this impression. the impression you get is that people buy guns and there are no background checks needed. that is not true. over 90% of the firearms sold gun shows are sold by licensed dealers. everyone who buys those has to underground a background check. about 8% or 10% are not licensed dealers. some years ago, when this concern was about those folks,
we took the position that if the atf wanted to under existing law, they could set up a booth at a gun show and require that anyone on the premises had to have a background check. i am not advocating it, we are not endorsing it. we think that the atf needs to be straightened out. we think this system should work. to be fair, the reason there are not many prosecutions is that many of those people that are denied firearms are false positives. they find out they should not be denied purchase this is like the gsa on steroids. they deny tens of thousands of people the fundamental right that they have. that needs to be straightened out.
>> and we're going to go to heidi, ruth, and michael. >> i am a little confused. are you saying that most of the guns sold at gun shows are going through a background check. >> yes. if you go to a gun show, most of those tables are manned either by dealers, we are talking about traditional dealers, or by federal firearms licensees. any purchase that you make through a federal firearms licensee has to go through the system. about 90% at the average that show are sold by dealers. they all undergo the background check. >> as you know, that is a major point of contention.
you are saying that they already do undergo the background check. >> the push right now is for something they call universal background checks. if you listen to the hearing, they talk about how 40% of a firearm sales are private sales and did not undergo a background check. that is based on a telephone survey that was done in 1994. even the number shows that abruptly half of those people are immediate family. most people get their firearms from their father or their grandfather. they inherit them. when you look at the numbers, you find out that arm's length sales between private parties may be represent 4% of all of them. the others are either neighbors, friends, or folks -- the initial view of the government was that the people
selling those of firearms and buying them need each other -- buying them knew each other. they're not likely to submit to a background check. the problem is in many ways, not just conceptual, but it is practical. in other words, regardless of your position on whether you should have a background check would not, that is not hard. you can do it as a practical matter. does what if you decide to buy a new shotgun? i mean next door neighbor and i said, well i will buy the old one. you say, that is great, i will sell it to you. how do you get that done? i was talking to someone from michigan. michigan has universal
background checks. how does this work in michigan? the person i asked is, ever but ignores it. if you have a lot that is either difficult or impossible to enforce it, you could get people to follow it. all you do is encourage people not to encourage contempt for the law. i have not seen the specific proposals that have been made, i don't think any of us have. they have not been released. i find it very difficult to imagine any way in which that kind of private transaction can be covered. when you combine that with the fact that various surveys that the government has done shows that is not how criminals get their guns.
what you're doing is putting a heavy burden on someone who has never done anything wrong, millions of people have never done anything wrong. about a practical problem. >> in this debate, the nra not be supporting any additional measures related to background checks? >> , we will be. we have been urging for 20 years that those who have been adjudicated to be potentially violently mentally ill should be included in the system. in fact, in march of 1993, some time ago, wayne lapierre on "face the nation" and he made the point that those people need to be included in the system for
background checks. he and charles schumer is a shook hands and said, i can help you do that. that was 1993. husbandelle giffords' mentioned, some 150,000 people have been so adjudicated have not been put in the system. one of the witnesses was the police chief from baltimore county who is an advocate of universal about crown checks. he did not mention that his governor had said that they are not in favor of putting the mentally ill into the system. sometimes it is for financial reasons, sometimes it is en hase as senator frank said he is against that because it is not want to stigmatize the mentally ill. we know that people that have mental problems are no more likely to commit a crime that you or i. but there are people who are not in a gray area.
those people that have been adjudicated to be severely mentally ill. had the system that is in place in virginia which we advocated been in place earlier, the virginia tech shooter would not have been able to buy a firearm because he had been adjudicated as having mental problems. we have been urging that for a long time and we think it should be done. we think that the system needs additional funding companies to be figured out. to take that system and throw millions of people into it as it exists today would be a serious error. >> would you talk to the two basic questions. the second amendment talks about the right to bear arms, how old
do you and your organization defy firearms? -- defined firearms? is a degree of self policing that should go on among donors, whistleblowing, that sort of thing? is anything more that can be done? >> our definition of the firearm that you have a right to keep and bear is the same as the supreme court decision. firearms that are widely commonly used for the purpose in the possession of private citizens are legal under the constitution. that is not include machine guns, which are not owned and used by citizens. that does not include rocket launchers. someone said, well, these people are in favor of bazookas, tanks. that is not true. that is not what the supreme court said.
it does include the ar-15 that they like to characterize as an assault rifle. it has been the best-selling lawmen in the u.s. -- long arm in the u.s. must training is done with this. competitors use that gun. is a very good platform. in addition to which, historically in this country, people who come out of the service like the firearm they are relatively familiar with. you cannot come out of the service and have the gun you train with because that is a fully automatic weapon. this is a similar platform. my daughter is now in the army reserves, she served two tours in iraq and one in afghanistan and she only owns one firearm
and it is an ar-15. she can tear it apart with their eyes closed and she can clean it and she likes to go to the range and shoot it. that is true for a lot of people. under the decision and the language there, that is illegal firearm. a machine gun is not. a lot of the other people got a lot of the other things that people like to say we support, we do not. -- a lot of the other things that people like to see the support, we do not. in these mass shootings, the number of people that they've looked at afterwards saw and knew that the fellow that was doing it had something wrong with him and did not do anything about it. in the or shooters case, the only person that did a thing was the gun salesman that he went to to try and buy a firearm. he said, this guy's crazy, i'm not selling him a gun. there are a number of instances
where the people who run ranges called tories because they think that someone who was there who should not have a firearm. no matter what it is that you're dealing with, if you see people that are obviously having problems or if a criminal comes in, many of them are stopped by dealers as are stopped by this system or by the police. more importantly, i think, is what the firearms community does. one of the things the president talk about which we think is something that should be focused. the national rifle association since 1871 has trained more people and taught more people gone safety and panhandling at the gun stores and the like than any government organization and the world. we spend a lot of resources doing that. that is part of your questioning.
>> as one of the things that we like is the second amendment committee or the people involved in the shootings sports has expanded greatly in the last few decades. in the 1990's the nra had about maybe 1.4 million, now we have 4.5 million. in gun shows, women are the people that are joining the nra in droves. if you go to a gun show, there is one in chantilly. five years ago, 8% were women, last year, 30%. the shooting sports have spread. five or six years ago, one of the fastest ways to go bankrupt would be to open a private shooting range. today, they are flourishing all of the country and they seem to be profitable. when this board expands, it seems to mean that you have a greater need for public
education as to how you should be doing these things. if you join the nra and go to one of our 80,000 trainers, you get that. there are a lot of people that are not members. i think a public education campaign on the safe handling of firearms would be very wise and we would love to participate. >> i would love to get the sign up sheet for the field trip to the gun show. >> the next time they have in chantilly, i will have a sign up sheet. there has been a lot of talk about whether this time is different. so, this is a political question rather than ideological. do you think that this time is different? if it is, it does not seem that the nra has change in any way is positions on what is accessible
or not acceptable to reflect that? >> our opponents hope that they can use a motion to the chief and anti firearms agenda that they have not been able to achieve in the past. my suspicion, and i have always operated not just in my current incarnation but in previous incarnations on the assumption that people are smarter than politicians. common-sense ultimately prevails. i am convinced that as these things are discussed, we are going to come out where we have come out in the past. that is, people who misuse guns should be prosecuted and guns should not be kept out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. not is because they have a right to own them, but because it is a policy.
we have had that discussion. i expect that this will happen. >> two very specific questions. one, on the magazine. you mentioned machine guns. is there any size that you think would be constitutional? if the answer is no, how does that differ from machine guns? on the question of background checks, i am puzzled by the logic because you were saying this could come from the quarter of this system. lapierre said that any criminal not go through the system. i did not understand what the importance of the system that we
currently have now is that the magazine size, background checks. >> the problem and the idea of limiting magazine size sounds superficially fine. the practical problem is that these things cost about $4 to make and there are millions of them around. we have gotten into this argument or this bidding match. they say, well you should not have a third round magazine. maybe this 20 or maybe 210. the governor of new york up the ante on the size. the police to par and were upset because he did not exclude them. -- the police department were upset because he did not exclude them. you could argue whether -- high-
capacity magazines were banned in the 90's along with the assault weapons. it made no difference. even in battles with police, the average number of shots fired is between 3 and 4. you can argue if you are a smart shooter, anyone can change a magazine and a second in a half and that you're better off if that is your intent because the problem with the larger magazines is that they tend to jam. i can say going back to what i said about the report -- about the heller court. the new york law is unconstitutional because they
are not, is getting the guns, they are just turning them into worthless metal. many of them are original equipment firearms. there was talk yesterday about the hundred round drum magazines. the bigger the magazine, all in magazine is with a spring that you put bullets into. the more you put in, the less likely it is to work. that magazine is probably, i've never seen except for 22,000. they don't work very well either. as a practical matter, somebody said, he cannot have 100 round magazine, well, nobody has them anyway. i think they get into a problem. >> is this constitutional? >> anything at some point, the question when you are passing
laws that impinge on fundamental constitution and rights. how serious do they impinge on those rights? secondly, is there a benefit from doing it? the same is true. it is not just on constitutional to say it cannot say anything. it is also unconstitutional to put an unreasonable burden on this. i know i am talking in circles but you cannot really say for certain what a court would or would not say. what i'm saying is that when you get up into those esoteric things that most people don't buy because they don't work very well, they don't see any reason for them. a court might say that that is a reasonable thing. i think the 30-round and 10-
round magazines are different. >> and the background check question. >> the argument is that no background checks. >> the people who do get deterred frankly are the folks that have severe mental problems if there is a restraining order or a domestic abuse order out, those people in the system. those people sometimes try to buy firearms and dealers. the system as it exists, this is not much of a burden. sometimes it is 10 days. it should be able to work in a minute and a half.
>> is that a really good argument? expanding beyond the dealers. >> the problem is practical. how do i get you and me into the system? you made -- >> she made a very strong argument for upgrading the system. >> it does not create much of a burden. in the case of you and me, it would create an incredible burden. we cannot access it and we should not be able to because we cannot go and check on each other by running databases. that means he would have to go somewhere. one of the proposals is that we turn in the firearm and we check it and come back. that is a burden which would
serve no practical purpose. >> if you are my neighbor and i want to sell you my card, you cannot is having my keys. >> you don't have to have a dealer's license. one of the reasons that we are still full -- we are fearful of a system like that is because it will continue to be very opposed to any kind of national gun registry system. this is a precursor of confiscation. the statutes that the energies, the loss to have introduced does not include this. this is prior to the law. senator feinstein suggested if
they could get registered, they could have forced buybacks. in modern times, there are two other reasons why you do not want a federal registry. the results have been not good. there was a time when all of the best motives on the part of the government. they could take a list and lock it in the vault and be secure. we cannot even secure national defense secrets now. the arts are that if we kept that registry -- and it is illegal now. if you go to the system, they can check you but they cannot keep the record. it is checked and then there is no cost to canada had a big registry but
they just stopped it because it did not do anything. in the 60's and the 80's, people had to keep track of ammunition sales. finally the government said this makes no sense because ammunition is a commodity and that does not do any good. it takes tons and tons of paperwork to look at it. the question is what works and what doesn't work. >> you mentioned that there are plenty of democrats who were members of your organization. it seems to me that maybe the most prominent democrat associated with the nra is harry reid. i don't know if he still is a member, but i wonder if you could characterize the relationship with harry reid over the years and also talk about what you have communicated about with the man who will decide on whether a gun restriction law is brought to the floor of the senate.
>> i am not our lobbyists, so any recent conversations with a senator reid would not be really -- i have not talked with senator reid. we have had a relatively friendly relationship with the senator over time. we did not endorse him with reelection. we did not endorse his opponent either. we did support him at the primary level last time. he has been when firearms legislation has not been at the priority of his leader, he has been relatively friendly on second amendment issues. he is under incredible pressure because he has got come as any member of congress or senate does, he has his own beliefs. he has the views and demands of his constituents on the one hand and the pressure he faces as a party leader and from his
president on the other. we're hairy leaves and up in this debate is anyone's guess. -- where games going on washington now. from his public statements, he wants these things discussed in depth. he has said recently that members ought to read what is being proposed and make up their own minds. >> [indiscernible] devices. >> i heard about that. it depends on the law. i do not know why they would be legal. >> some are illegal and some are not. some have been ruled illegal by atf. they are included in the proposed assault weapons ban. if you look on websites, it
appears there is an entertainment value going to target raines and machine gun- like targets. >> it is under the second amendment. the reason the fully automatic weapons -- we are talking about semi-automatic weapons. machine guns have been illegal since the mid 1930's. they are not commonly owned or commonly used for self-defense or other purposes. it is legitimate they have been banned as they have been. i do not know how the atf characterizes these things. the flip would be for me to say that is the problem between the
atf and whoever they agreed to approve them for. sometimes, that is true. that is their job. if these things are functionally machine guns, it seems to me they ought to be scrutinized a little more carefully than they have. i am sure there is a market in a country of 300 million people for anything. i do not know anybody who has got one and i have never seen one or used one. they are more at oddity, it seems to me. we should not confuse that with the ar-15. if you take a weapon, we visit our firearms museum. i urge you to do. one of the things that was not used because world war room and 1e ended, -- world war i
ended -- if you are an engineer, you can do anything. it is a felony to use it. i would be careful. machine guns are illegal and should be. some automatic fire arms are not. the national shooting sports foundation likes to make the point that semiautomatic rifles have been widely available in this country for over 100 years. they have been less widely available before that. as you walked into a museum, you find a gun that was taken in 18 06 by lewis and clark. it says semi-automatic rifle, originally designed but never distributed by the military. has a 20-round magazine. it would probably be illegal.
those kinds of firearms have been in existence since the 1900's. >> the government is coming to take your guns or change the law, yesterday, during the hearing, senator gramm, an ally of you, has pushed back on that, saying, owning guns to attack the government or fight the government is not a legitimate purpose. do you agree with that? >> yes. wayne was asked by senator durban, what was the purpose of the second amendment? he said, it was included in the constitution as the final blow work against tyranny. that is a historical truth. and he said, see, you have heard it there. he wants guns to go after the government. that is not the point.
lindsay gramm did make the point that the second amendment was designed for protection of the country, the community, the town, the family, and the individual. lindsay's point was a valid one. we witnessed it. senator durbin said he could not think of any place where it would be necessary to protect yourself. senator gramm mentioned during the l.a. riots, which was another place. that was the aftermath of katrina in new orleans. the government's response was to go and take arms away from people who were defending themselves. the court said you cannot do that. in the future situations like that, they will not be able to do that. that is precisely the kind of situation the second amendment says you may need to protect yourself. >> [indiscernible] a police officer comes down to
your house -- that person does not own a gun for a legitimate reason. >> that is not the point. if you ask the historic question -- also, i like to talk to make a point because i do believe that historically, and country after country, firearms have been associated very clearly with stability and freedom and all that. it is also interesting some in the congress and the administration have pointed out in egypt and elsewhere these people rising up and got fire arms so they could get rid of the tyrannical government. they held a banquet in moscow some years ago to honor one of russia's's few heroes.
the general was a tank driver in world war two. -- world war ii. the general got up and said, mr. president, my dream is a country like the united states. i think about that because others have pointed out when the soviet empire fell apart, one of the first things countries of the old east bloc, the first thing they did was legalize individual ownership to firearms, not because they would attack their governments, but because they know that is a measure of stability and freedom and it is a symbol of freedom. in this country, a lot of the argument over firearms has less to do with crime as it does with symbolism and what the second
amendment represents. prior to the culture wars of the late '60s -- late 1960's, the nra for its first hundred years of existence did not spend money in politics. we did not have a lobbyist and it was not necessary. we divided into two ideological camps in this country. i am not talking about all the gun owners, but the politicians. it has had less to do about crime. in every jurisdiction, where concealed carries laws have passed, there has been a diminishing of violent gun crime. your concern was crime, and if you were michael bloomberg, you would say, this seems to work. there is no empirical evidence to convince anybody because it
is not about crime and these things. it is about your view of fire arms and your view of the second amendment and your view of whether individuals should have a right to own firearms and protect themselves. it is much more difficult than what we might think if we were just sitting down and having an empirical discussion about what to do about criminals. >> the second amendment says that a well regulated -- the right to bear arms. what is your view of the first clause? >> the same as the supreme court's view. in those days, the militiamen to everybody. it did not mean organized groups. the part of the second amendment was the rest of it, the supreme court finding. there was a revisionist attempt
in the 1970's to say this does not protect individual gun ownership. that was the pitch they attempted to make that there is no individual right to keep theiand bear arms. >> the background check issue. i have two related questions. you are critical of the 40% number. the estimate commonly used. you said you thought it was closer to 4%. i wonder how you got that number? >> in that study, which was a
telephone survey of 200 people, they asked where you got your firearms. did you get it from your family or friends? when you broke it down to once you could say or arm's length, it came down to 4%. i am not saying that number is accurate. the whole survey is inaccurate. it is flawed and took place -- one of the reasons even if you took a whole number, one of the things they asked was, did you get it from a licensed dealer. in those days -- i had a federal firearms license. if you bought a gun from me, and lots of people had them and you had to do the check and keep records and all that. and if somebody said, i bought that gun from dave, he probably would not know if he did a check. the question they ask is, do you
think you might have. >> is that a car or a duck? >> it either means i have to answer the phone or -- [laughter] >> it is probably somewhere between 4% and 40%. what is the objection at gun shows and other situations that are not family members? what is the objection to having a background system? >> two answers. the first is the government has not funded it. the second is a practical matter. in some places, it would be relatively easy, like the gun shows. in other places, it becomes excessively burdensome without showing it will be good at the end. i want to see what is being proposed because we have not seen that.
i think we get to a point where you are getting nothing as a result of it. while it sounds good, it does not work. i mentioned earlier michigan has universal checks right now. they are widely ignored. for the very reason we were talking about. the testimony at the senate judiciary committee yesterday, the position was every single sale. before some reform in the age -- in the 1980's, there were no definitions. there were cases of government -- government prosecuting people and giving gone for children. one of the things was to try to find what is and what is not or should not be put into the law enforcement area.
it is complicated. that is our problem with it. >> would you support it at gun shows? >> not currently, no. >> why have the system at all? >> it provides an opportunity for people to go to gun stores, particularly if you have people, the spousal abusers, when we get to the mental health issues. >> the abuser can go to a gun show. >> less than 1% get their guns at gun shows. >> about three minutes left. >> we can argue about concept. i am saying, what is the benefit? >> you mentioned new york and other states. a lot of governments --
your opponents would argue we need a federal law because there is such a patch work out in the states. obviously, they can do what they want. what you think is appropriate? >> this gets to one of our complaints and what the president is at least rhetorically suggesting we arits time to do. it is illegal to buy a gun for someone else. if you fraudulently fill out the form, it is a five to 10 year in prison.
2 million people did not pass it. if those people are criminals, why is it only 13 have been convicted? when you deal with gun crime, and criminals using guns, it is a federal crime for a felony to possess a firearm -- for a felon to possess a firearm. remember virginia? we went into richmond and we worked out with the u.s. attorney there and the local police and that program we named. what it was was if you committed a crime with a gun, you would be prosecuted federally and you would get the mandatory minimum.
the gun murder rate in richmond dropped. they actually had bad guys doing drug deals and the rest without guns because they did not want that. that was a certain ticket to prison. today, very few people are prosecuted under these federal laws. i was watching television last night. he gets things sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but he said, we ought to have federal laws against this but we do not have any. we do. we do not use them. in sight -- in chicago, you have strict gun control measures so the pool of potential victims is largely unharmed. in chicago, out of 90 federal jurisdictions, chicago is number 89 in prosecution of crimes committed with guns. what do you know if you are a
criminal in chicago? your potential victim is probably not going to be able to do anything if you are robbing him or what ever. -- whatever. you do not get any additional criminal penalties for using a gun. the government is not doing it, such prosecutions are down 35% during the administration. the president said it is time to prosecute gun crimes. we have laws and they are there. u.s. attorneys say with them, -- to them, you bring in somebody committed of a crime and i will
send them to federal prison if they had a firearm. >> we want to thank you for doing this. my apologies. >> i apologize if my answers are longer than my statements. [laughter] it was my pleasure. sign up for the gun show, will you? [laughter] >> he wants company at the gun show. [laughter] >> will you back challengers to go against the nra? >> on a crucial thing? sheure. it depends. [indiscernible] i think it does.it is
. it is interesting. when the nra was founded in 1971, it was founded because the civil war had ended and they said, this king went on two years longer than it should have. -- this thing went on two years longer than it should have. these were first-generation europeans who had no gun culture at home. they are drafted in the army and handed this thing. they take on the rebel shootings corals and gear his whole life. the same was a confederate soldier is worth two union soldiers. there were five union soldiers for every confederate. they said, people need to know and understand firearms.
when you get to today, it is interesting because that was urban world division. that is the division that still exists. a lot of people do not have familiarity with firearms. if you grew up in downtown anywhere, where guns were banned, is it a logical for you to think these are bad rather than good? for most of america, it is different than that. it really is cultural. i talked about the cultural wars, which are ideological. it is also cultural in terms of your up great -- upbringing and where you come from. in the old days, you could take your shotgun on the airplane. you could get a cardboard case for your rifle at the check-in counter. we could take our shot guns to
school. that is a different culture. that is what bill clinton was warning barack obama about. be careful because these people really care about their culture and their life and what they do. they care about different things than you do. part of it is cultural. when you ask somebody, or one of your leaders, you ask about the nra, we are viewed as an advocacy organization that stands up for gun owners and the second amendment. that is about 12%. the rest goes to competition, a gun safety, technical information, and a lot of our research goes into boy scouts, girl scout, bringing people into the shooting sport and teaching them to handle guns safely.
there are fewer gun accidents today than there were at the beginning of the 20th century but there are a lot more guns. the only people out there teaching gun safety and training people is the national rifle association. i have got to go. [laughter] i have to go but i will take you to a gun show. [laughter] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> a look at our prime-time schedule starting at 8:00 eastern tonight here on c-span, all six hours and 45 minutes of the confirmation hearing for chuck hagel to be the defense secretary. on c-span2, hillary clinton on america's role in the world. 3 and on -- and on c-span3, harbour
safety. -- harbor safety. chuck hagel was asked questions today ranging from iran to his support. leading up to the entire hearing, we will show you a couple exchanges from the hearing. in the first one, lindsay gramm asked the nominee about israel relations. >> the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. i am a united states senator. this pressure makes us do dumb things at times. the jewish lobby should not have been used. name one person who is intimidated by the israeli lobby in the united states senate.
name one. >> i do not know. >> why would you say it? >> i did not have in mind a specific person. >> do you think it is a provocative statement? i cannot think of a more provocative thing to say. name one dumb thing we have been goaded into doing because of the pressure from the israeli jewish lobby. give me one example of the dumb things we were pressured to do up here. give me an example of where we have been intimidated by the israeli-jewish lobby to do something, regarding the mid
east, israel, or anywhere else. >> i cannot give you one. >> do you agree you should not have said that? >> yes. >> in 2006, you were one of 12 senators who refuse to sign asking them -- why were you one of 12 who refused to sign the letter? >> i have generally had a policy during my time in the senate that i did not think it was the right approach for the congress to be sending leaders of any instructions or documents verses letting our president do that. >> why did you sign the letter to bill clinton urging him to deal with the russians? >> i think that is the
appropriate approach because i think it is our president whose -- who conducts foreign policy. >> when a letter is prevent -- presented to the united states air -- senator, you cannot write one and not the other. be consistent. the letter was urgent that you used. you have been a big believer that you should do it unilaterally. why would you take this chance to urge the yupik -- european union to sanction it if it may help the world at large deal with this? your answer is we do not think we should be writing letters. >> that was not my answer. i think the president of the united states is the appropriate official. >> congress has no interest at all? do you think that is our role up here? that we should stay out of those things?
>> i said iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and i also clarify a statement that they were a recognized nation by the united nations and most world bodies. the reason i did not vote as 22 other members did not, i think jim webb's argument was a strong argument because he sat on the floor we have never designated part of a government as a terrorist organization, thereby what his concern was and as was mine and other senators who
voted against it, would this be tantamount to giving the president of the united states authority from the congress to take military action against iran? >> do you believe the sum total of all of your votes refusing to sign a letter to the eu, asking has a lot to be designated as a terrorist organization, being one of 22 to vote to designate the iranian revolutionary guard as a terrorist organization, being one of two to vote against sanctions this body was trying to impose on iran, the statements you have made about palestinians and the jewish lobby -- all of that together, that the image you have created is one of sending the worst possible signal to our enemies and friends at one of the most critical times in world history? >> no, i would not agree with that because i have taken actions and made statements very clear as to what i believe hezbollah and hamas are as terrorist organizations. >> if there was a vote on the floor of the senate this afternoon to label the iranian national -- revolutionary guard, the people that killed soldiers in iraq, some of the most vicious people to the people of iran themselves, if there was a vote would you still vote no? >> i would want to know from the president what they were doing. ask i mean you read the paper, you watch tv card do you have any doubt -- >> i mean, you read the paper, you watch tv, do you have any doubt what they are
doing? they are expanding terrorism. they are the biggest supporter of the regime to keep them in power so they get a nuclear weapon. if you had a chance tomorrow, today after lunch, to go to say that the iranian revolutionary guard was a terrorist organization would you still vote no? >> the reason i voted no to start with, that has not changed. >> would you reconsider? >> times change, and yes, i would reconsider. >> thank you, that is encouraging. why time is up, but we will have another round. senator in half -- senator inhofe said you were one of the only senators to refuse to sign a letter offering disagreement with support for arafat, and every member of this body was asked for a letter to clearly
put us on record that we believe that arafat and the intifada is undercutting the agreements that they had reached and they had resorted to violence to intimidate the israeli government and people in a way that was absolutely unacceptable. if you had a chance to do it over, would you sign this letter now, and i will give it to you during whatever break we have and ask you to reconsider. i would ask you, senator hagel, to tell the country, the world at large, particularly the state of israel, that you made a
mistake in not signing that letter. >> who does the letter go to? >> the president. >> i will take a look at the letter and give you an answer. >> all i can say is it was a big deal and the lack of a signature by you runs chills up my spine because i cannot imagine not signing a letter like that at a time when it really mattered. >> we will have all of the confirmation hearing in a little less than 30 minutes from now. "the washington post" -- several gop members sought to propose him as radical.
what you said was the jewish lobby inintimidate dates a lot of people up here. this was in a book an interview that you gave to aaron david miller. and you said, i've always argued against some of the dumb things they do, because i don't think it's in the interest of israel. here's my problem with your position at this point. you have corrected the term jewish lobby. and i assume now the correct term would be israel lobby or israeli lobby. do you still stand by your statement that they succeed in this town, that they succeed in this town because of intimidation, and that it amounts to us -- causing us to do dumb things? because senator, you are here today as a potential secretary of defense, and it would seem to me that however you characterize them, you have suggested that there is an effective lobby out there, whether you call them the jewish lobby, the israeli lobby or israel lobby and that they succeed on doing dumb things through intimidation and that u.s. policy has been the wrong
approach, because the intimidation has worked. so when you talked about the jewish lobby, were you talking about apack? minor pack? christians united or israel? and do you still believe that their success in this town is because of intimidation and that they are, as you stated, urging upon our government that we do dumb things? >> well, first, i have never been accused of political expediatrician yen cri. -- expediatricianian cri. probably got me in some trouble, senator. second, address the last comment and we'll go back to sanctions. i've already said i regret referencing the jewish lobby. i should have said pro israel lobby. i think it's the only time on the record that i've ever said that. now, you all have done a lot of
work with my record, and yes, it's appropriate, by the way. any nominee's record, what he or she thinks, says, does, absolutely. i was on your side of the -- for 12 years, so i understand that and that responsibility. so i don't have any problem with that. as i've already noted that i should have used another term, and i'm sorry, and i regret it. the use of intimidation. i should have used influence. i think would have been more appropriate. we were talking about in that book, and you've evidently read it aaron david miller's book and by the way, it's a book "much to promised land," he has spoken out directly in the last few weeks, written an op-ed about my opinion because it's
noten a lot of attention, but it's been quite favorable to me and said much of it was taken out of context and was offended by those words. those of you who know aaron david miller, you know he is jewish and a highly-respected individual and also says in that interview, which is a fairly short interview mentions that i am a strong supporter of israel. that's in the interview. so i think that says something. i should not have said dumb or stupid. because i understand and appreciate there are different views on these things. we were talking about israel. we were talking about the middle east. we are -- we were not talking about armeinya or turkey or the banking influence.
that's what the context of my comments were about. on your point on the conversations and the quote. >> chuck hagel's entire committee will be up in 20 minutes. coming up, jo"washington journaw -- a look at the american spending and saving habits with the --eau of economic cabot's habits. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span.
also, a discussion on campaign 2012. we will hear from democratic and republican strategists. that is live from georgetown university in washington at 11:00 a.m. eastern. >> they will pass the bill and it will be a good bill on civil rights. can you all get in and come on and go on or will he try to keep from passing it and say -- >> lbj and larry o'brien strategizing on the president's civil-rights agenda. online at c-span read about or, and nationwide on c-span radio.
>> senator dick durbin and charles schumer are working on legislation immigration. the immigration legislation. >> there are times when parents are torn apart and children -- this system also restrains our economy. people who should be paying taxes are living in the shadows. we need to make them fully contributing members for our society. our economy is denied the contribution of people who want to work hard and be productive members of the society. this has lingered unresolved for far too long. it is time to get it done, move on, and fixing our broken immigration system, and no one disagrees with that, is urgent.
i support the efforts of this bipartisan group of senators. people always looking for acts of bipartisanship in this body. take a look at this. this is work that is exemplary and i commend each of them. it is an urgent priority. our nation needs a common-sense solution in a tough and smart path to citizenship for the estimated 10 million citizens in our country who are undocumented. i have been advocating these principles for years. i am pleased the bipartisan framework meets that criteria. i am encouraged to see progress and they are finding common ground. president obama has made immigration reform a top priority. it is my top priority. i am committed to getting this
bipartisan issue that we now have before us over the finish line. poll after poll shows americans, democrats, republicans, and support ours solution. and a president who is eager to solve this problem. there is no reason you should not get this done as soon as possible. our economy requires a solution. families across america are praying for a solution. that is the truth. >> thank you. since we came to the senate, 16 years ago, i have been working on the immigration issue. i have never felt more positive about the prospects of immigration reform than i do today. some significant things have occurred right here in this room this week. a bipartisan group of senators, my colleague, senator mccain,
as well as two others in support, they have all step forward with a set of principles we think will guide us to fixing this broken immigration system and america. you are not privy to what is going on in " -- behind closed doors. i have been heartened. we tackled several of the toughest issues in this bill, issues broken down negotiations in the fast. -- in the past. we are all looking for solutions, realistic and honest and fair solutions. that is the only way we can pass reform. i am glad to hear the president speak out as forcefully as he did about immigration reform.
he was a co-sponsor of the dream that when he was here in the senate. he sat with me when we talk about immigration reforms day after day. coming from illinois, he appreciates it as much if not more than any other person. to have this linkage here in that -- in the present, we have a long way to go, and there will be obstacles. a good faith effort being put into this is encouraging to me and gives me hope that for the first time, we can get this done. as the senator reed has said, not for ourselves, but for millions of americans living in chattels and fear of deportation, a future that is so clouded by the prospects of being sent away from this country, and finally, you know what i feel about the dream act.
after 12 years, this is still my passion. has not diminished at all. it grows by the day. the last time we had a press conference here, i walked in the hallway and a beautiful young latino said, i am a dreamer. i am behind you. there are so many people countis >> thank you. i want to thank you for your good, hard work. i want to thank the senator reid who told us he would do whatever it takes to get this through the senate. we have a long way to go. this bipartisan blueprint is a major breakthrough. we believe this will be the year congress finally gets common- sense immigration reform across
the finish line. we believe the senate will be able to pass bipartisan legislation. that will give us time to pass a bill before the end of 2013. they have graciously agreed to give us order. the committee process is crucial. it allows us to a test out and the public. that is a good thing. i look forward to the good old days when we have major legislation go through committees and different amendments that all three of us experience that a lot of newer members have not hear that will be a great thing. we will do the same on the floor. they have said, take whatever
time you need on the floor to get this done. the president's remarks this week gave a major boost to our work. he has exercised the full power of the pulpit to put the issue on the front burner. he is also giving us the appropriate space the bipartisan coalition needs to get more -- to get moving. he is handling it exquisitely well. his involvement is invaluable. we have serious challenges ahead. make no mistake. these are difficult issues and all three of us have seen any one of these issues bring previous immigration bills down. the major issues we have to draft into legislative language, and the devil is in the details, taking our principles and defining them. defining metrics that demonstrate the border is secure. also, defining what the path to citizenship looks like.
reaching an agreement between business and labor in a future program. and finding the right balance when it comes to new immigrants, job versus family. those are very tough issues in our preliminary discussions. we think we can overcome them all. as dick mentioned, it has been a very good coming together of the mineds. we are ready to go. we have an opportunity to act. a window of opportunity to act. we will only succeed if the effort is bipartisan. i want to really praise senators mccain, gramm, and rubio for their leadership, strength, and we look forward to continuing to work with them. >> senator reid, you made comments on tuesday telling
reporters they should be careful of the validation is regarding the senator menendez. when you made these comments, were you aware of these reimbursements made earlier this month? do you think you have handled the matter of properly? >> first of all, bob mendez is my friend. -- bob mendez is my friend. >> do you have a general sense of the rubric of what that might be? do you think that could be a barrier? >> my response is this is part of a negotiation. i expect senators to give the judiciary committee information.
they will work through this. i recommend to them they not negotiate in this room. there is work to be done. it is important. i have given 150 presentations on immigration reform over the years. i start every one of them by saying, the first thing you will have to do is have a secure border. that is nothing new. it needs to be refined. >> i say this. we want the border to be secure. is more secure than several years ago but it has a ways to go. different sectors need different types of security. it is different than having a security in the tucson sector. we are not using border security as an excuse or block to the path to citizenship. we want to make sure, and this is very important, that there is
a secure borders. we will work for that. it is not -- we want to make sure the border is secure but not to use it as a barrier to prevent the 11 million from eventually gaining a path to citizenship. >> there is a difference. you used the word. there is a difference between a metric and a value. there is a difference between a metric and an aspiration. if we made the path to citizenship contingent on a safe and secure border, it will always be subjective. the idea behind the metric is to have something measurable. we believe we can achieve that. >> the white house plan does not include any linkage. do you think president obama
needs to recognize it and get on board? >> he does recognize it. >> [indiscernible] >> that is what senator schumer said. the first thing we will do is make sure there is a good, deep discussion of the bipartisan group. the bill will come from that committee to the floor. that is the process. we will stick with it. once it gets to the floor, i have made a commitment. i am telling everyone here. we will have an amendment process. i do not know how long it will take. it will take a lot of time. there will be a lot of discussion brought up. we will have amendments and a different number of procedural ways. we will have legislation done in the senate the way it is
supposed to be done. >> can i say one thing? in 2007, future flows. it scuttled the bill. there had been no committee. hopefully, such an amendment, if people have a problem with whatever we come up with, would be brought up in committee. we would see where the relative strength and weakness of that amendment is and we could modify the bill so it could pass. that is why a committee process is so important. i look back and say, it is a mistake. >> senator reid, why do think the 2007 effort failed? >> my experience on a major piece of legislation, it is a process.
rarely do you solve a big issue legislatively the first time around. this has been here for a while. we did not get it done then because we needed republican votes. this time we will get them. there has been a change with the american people. the american people now acknowledge democrats, republican independence, want the issue is resolved. it is an issue important to human beings and to our economy. it is a process. we will get it done. this is the time we will get it done. >> can you talk about what interaction has been had with groups and the house? >> the senators can respond to that year from what i know, it has been a good process. there has been contract -- contact. the two men served for a long time.
i served for a short time. they have had meetings with the hispanic caucus. they have done this in the right way. >> we are in touch with our counterparts in the house. we believe they are moving along on a set of principles that will be fairly simple to ours. again, there are republicans in the house like there are republicans in the senate who believe we should have a bill. will the house be harder than the senate? probably. one of our goals is to pass this bill not just with 61 votes or 60 votes, 55 democrats and five republicans. i am not sure we have every single democrat. second, we want a large number of republicans to be able to vote for this bill because we think that will encourage the house not only to -- not only to go forward but to pass the bill. we are working well with our house colleagues.
>> will there be some sort of committee or good housekeeping seal? who gets to say? have you worked that out yet? the entire congress? >> in our blueprint, what we have talked about, i do not know it is explicitly in the blueprint. we set up a committee of people. the purpose is to get input from them and have them be part of the process, for them to understand we are getting a great deal of input. as the senator points out, it would be unconstitutional to delegate the things to that committee. what we propose is the dhs secretary will have final say on whatever metrics we propose. we think those metrics will be
quite objective. they will be objective so there is not that much leeway. what we envision is because they need an object -- need to be objective, the advisory committee and the dhs will likely agree. >> final question. >> just to clarify whether or not senator melendez has told you prior to tuesday -- >> i have answered the question and that is all i will say. >> you wanted the bill to go through regular order. i am wondering what the timeframe is for when you would like this done? >> we have one of the most senior members of the senate, the chairman of that committee. he can do both issues.
he is don't -- he is going to do both issues. we will treat both the same way. we will try here and i think we will be set set -- successful. republicans feel better about bills that go through committee structure. we will do that on immigration and on violence and guns. also, on only two republicans feel better, but so do we. we feel some of the obstruction we have had because of republicans not attending meetings, i do not think -- we have already had a hearing on guns yesterday. >> will senator melendez the next chair? next chair?